Wednesday, October 9, 2013

6-string guitar and a jug of wine...

"I've been sitting here asking him every night
For a brand new song and a piece of mind
The road is all I think about these days
All I need is out there, I will be just fine
6 string guitar and a jug of wine
When the lights go down around that stage..."

The Highway (lyrics) - Holly Williams

Let's talk about music for a moment, shall we? Every once in awhile, I want to introduce anyone who reads this blog to a favorite artist of mine. My favorite singers and songwriters tend to be those you don't often here on the radio or see on TV. So, many times I'll mention an artist and folks will be like, who? I think that's why I want to talk about some of them from time to time. We hear the same songs over and over on the radio and it's nice every once in awhile to look outside our musical box and give a band or singer a try. Today, the amazingly talented, Holly Williams

For those of you who don't already know, I love me some, Holly Williams. She is a fantastic singer/songwriter currently touring her new album, "The Highway". I got to see her play (finally) for the first time a couple weeks ago in Goshen, Indiana at the raddest record store venue called, Ignition Music. It. Was. Stellar. 

My best friends, Lyndsey and Hannaniah went to the show with me. Such a good day.

Holly Williams just being amazing.

Oh, Hey. :) 

A band called, Elenowen opened up for her. They were wonderful. I'd heard about them a bit and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that they were opening the show. I picked up their current EP and you should too! Their music is an awesome blend of folky/country goodness. If you need a comparison, think, Civil Wars. Anywho, they were great and fantastic songwriters as well. 

Elenowen sounding spectacular.

I get asked a lot who my favorite singers are, who inspires me and what kind of music is my favorite. I'm inspired for different reasons by different people and genres of music. I love country music obviously. I sing country music and the majority of music I write is country music. Country was the first music I fell in love with. I was six and my grandmother introduced me to, Patsy Cline. Soon after, my dad introduced me to, Garth Books and, Vince Gill...the rest is history. :) The genre of country music is so wide-spread now that it covers an array of musical stylings. My favorite style of country leans more toward the traditional style with some folk and bluesy flair - Americana if you will. I like a bit of rock infused in there every once in awhile too. 

Holly singing, "I Saw The Light" to end the night. 

The truth is, I don't listen to much country radio. I'm not dogging radio or current country music at all. It's just not what really inspires me and gets my brain moving. When I listen to music--really listen to music-- I want to be moved. I want to feel something. Isn't that why we listen to music? To realize an emotion. To have an experience. That's why I started writing music when I was a kid. It helped me deal with things that were going on in my life. Ultimately, that's why I still write music today. It helps me figure out life. It's the only way I know how to figure out life. This is not to say that every song I ever write or listen to has to be "deep". I think different people relate to different styles of music and that is OK. It's ok to just want to listen to music that makes you feel good on a summer day with the windows down. I like that too. :) I just think that there is more out there than what we hear on the radio or at the club downtown and it should be experienced.  

The first time I heard, "The Highway" I experienced a range of emotions. I actually listened to it completely through on my way from Michigan to Nashville. I remember it was raining almost the entire drive. It was a perfect setting to listen to every song. The album is wonderfully crafted both lyrically and musically. I appreciate the honestly in this album and in Holly William's music in general. I believe every word she says. I think that's important. I hear the same messages in music time after time. It's nice to sit back and actually listen to raw emotion pouring out of my speakers. It's hard to be honest in writing. It's much easier to just think thoughts and keep them in your head. Once you write them down and speak them out loud they are real, out in the world, right in front of you and you can't undo them. I'm truly in awe of this record and the way the lyrics are so fearlessly put out there. 

There is a song called, "The Highway" that really stopped me. I connect with this song so much. Listening to it for the first time actually brought me to tears. Music should do that. At least sometimes. It should affect you in a way that makes you personalize it. I know I'm listening to something special when my emotions change because of it. I hope all the time that the music I write will do that to people. That it makes them feel something and they can relate to it and use it in their life. It is amazing when people tell me that something I wrote really spoke to them and affected them a certain way. Knowing you moved someone, even for a moment, is a pretty incredible feeling. 

If you like honest to goodness music and you have a minute, look up Holly Williams. Find her on YouTube or iTunes or wherever. Just give her a listen and really listen. I think her music has something to offer everyone. 

Thanks for reading my rambles guys. Try out a new artist today. Give some new music a listen. You might just find that lyric or melody you've been needing to hear.

Check out my cover video of "The Highway" by clicking on the link below. You'll have to let me know what you think if you feel like watching it. :) 

Nothin' but love. 

xo - Kari 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

And then it was October...

I can't believe summer is over. We were so busy and traveling so much this summer that it really feels like a blur. Don't get me wrong; it was AMAZING. I could not have asked for a better, more exciting, more productive summer. I got to play some amazing shows, meet a lot of new folks, write songs that I'm really proud of and make memories with my bandmates that I will never forget, but September and October came outta nowhere!

Fall is an energizing season for me, especially September and October. There is something about September, as everything starts to change, that makes me feel like I have a fresh start. And then October comes and there is a chill in the air that puts so much inspiration in my soul. Fall has done this to me as long as I can remember. That's probably why it has been my very favorite time of year since I was a child. 

I'm excited to take on new projects and I'm looking forward to the future and where my music will take me. I go for a lot of walks in the Fall to clear my head, making it a point to walk down a street I've never been down or visit a shop or cafe I've never been in. I don't mind the chill that takes over the air as the days get shorter...I look a little less weird walking down the street with a hot coffee in my hand in the fall than I do in the summer, so that works for me as well. :) 

Fall IS strange though. At the same time that I feel a sense of newness and adventure, I also get very nostalgic. I get homesick. I miss old places, people and relationships that used to be in my life. I find myself often sitting with a sadness in my gut that I can't explain. I just miss something. Because of these crazy, fall induced--mixed emotions, I write a lot in this season. I sorta don't mind the sense of nostalgia, even if it makes me really sad some days. The sadness has a way of making my writing more brave. I'm less fearful of saying something I'm scared to say out loud. I'm more willing to be honest with myself in this season and I love that.

Right now I am more inspired than I have been in awhile. It is in large part due to this season I am sure. I feel like there are a million songs in my heart and pages of lyrics in my head. I've never been a very good liar when it comes to writing. Writing is my place to be the most honest with myself and others. So, it's incredibly difficult for me to fake my way through a song and make up feelings I'm not actually feeling. I have to feel the happiness or the heartbreak so much that it hurts. If I don't feel those things when I'm writing, I can't really expect anyone listening to my music to feel them either. I'm excited to hash it out and finish songs I began awhile back but haven't been in the right mind-set to finish. I'm excited to reconnect with some feelings and I am eager to move forward as the chapters of this ever changing, crazy, wonderful life unfold...even if it sometimes scares the heck out of me.  

* If you read this entire blog post, thanks! It's really random. I appreciate you giving a whirl though. I have to have these kind of posts once in awhile, but I promise to have my thoughts a bit more in order next time. :)

Nothin' but love 

xo - Kari